Nisha Rao: Pakistan’s First Transgender Lawyer Now Fights For Her Community

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nisha rao first transgender lawyer/Nisha Rao KU
Source: Independent Urdu

Based in Karachi, 28-year-old Nisha Rao is the first transgender lawyer in Pakistan.

She earned a law degree from Sindh Muslim Law College in 2018 and now fights cases for people and transgender community.

Nisha has so far fought more than 50 cases and has seen many ups and downs in her life to get here.

Now she has gained support of her family but her relationship with her family has not always been good. Nisha hails from Lahore, but after matriculation, she fled to Karachi to escape from torture and physical abuse by her family. She spent ten years begging while simultaneously studying law with the same money.

While talking to the Independent Urdu Nisha Rao shared that she always had feminine habits.

I used to sit in the madrassa with the girls and recite the Quran. I used to wear a headscarf and applied lipstick. Because of these actions, I was often beaten by my family. At school, children used to call me Rima Sharmili and I used to cry a lot.

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Nisha became very depressed when in the ninth grade, she realized that God has made her a different person. But after some time Nisha she thought that she hands and feet, eyes and a good mind, she can study hard and was motivated to earn herself a good career.

With no support from family, Nisha had to escape to Karachi with her two other transgender friends. She stole her father’s salary and took the train to Karachi.

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Nisha was forced to beg for a livelihood as her gurus were also poor. And since she didn’t have an ID card, no one would appoint her for a job.

Nisha was scared of the police when she used to beg.They did not treat the people of her community humanly. Then one day her teacher, Mudassir Iqbal Chaudhry advised her to become a lawyer.

“You would not need to be afraid of anyone. In fact, the police will be afraid of you, he told me,” Rao added.

Nisha is working hard to lend support to her transgender community. She wants to build a shelter home for elderly people in her community so that they can be treated and spend the rest of their lives in comfort.